A 16-year-old was charged with murder on Thursday after a shooting unfolded during New York City’s rush hour on Monday afternoon, when two groups were arguing on board a subway train as it pulled into the Mount Eden Avenue station in the Bronx.
The verbal fight turned into a gun fight as at least one person pulled a firearm and opened fire, sending passengers desperately scrambling off the train to try to get to safety.
Six people were shot – one fatally.
One of the victims, who was shot during the chaos, has also been arrested for a separate, non-fatal shooting in mid-January; police say that the subway incident could have been a “retaliation” to this other dispute last month.
Police are still searching for one more person in connection to the shooting, with deputy commissioner of operations Kaz Daughtry branding him a “coward.”
First deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department, Tania Kinsella, vowed to catch whoever is responsible for the horror incident that left the lives of “innocent victims” changed forever. “We will get you, whoever was responsible for this,” she said.
Here’s what we know so far about the Bronx shooting:
At around 4.35pm, multiple 911 calls were made reporting a shooting at the station.
The deadly incident had begun with an apparent dispute between two groups of teenagers on a busy northbound number four train during rush hour, police said.
NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said that the dispute intensified to the point of gun violence.
As the train pulled into the platform at Mount Eden Avenue subway station in the Bronx, the doors opened and people began to get off. At least one of the individuals within the two groups took out a gun and opened fire, police said.
Three gunmen reportedly fired around 19 shots during the incident. Authorities said when the doors to the train opened, one man showed he was armed, which sparked the shootout.
People tried to flee from the train and onto the platform, but “more shots were fired while on the platform, and that’s when and where our victims were shot,” Mr Kemper said.
When asked if any rounds were actually fired inside the train, Mr Kemper said: “We believe the shooting started when the train pulled into the station, the doors were open, and as the people were exiting the train, we believe at least one shot was fired at that time.”
At the time of the shooting, there were around a dozen people on the platform, including children, according to a witness who spoke to CBS News.
“I heard gunshots, running, shooting, like, maybe, six times, five, six times. I heard two children screaming. And then, when I saw the train coming, that’s when I ran downstairs, because there was too much noise,” the witness said.
Luis Rodrigquez, 34, told The New York Post that he was a passenger on the train. He heard children screaming and quickly ran out of the station as soon as he had disembarked. “It was total pandemonium,” he said. “It makes you scared to ride the train.”
Another witness called emergency services from her apartment close to the station, telling the Post that she saw three teenage boys on the tracks after the shooting.
Two of them appeared to be having an argument, she said, while another one ran away. She also added that they were carrying book bags.
Heriberto Paredes, a 52-year-old mechanic who works nearby, said that he saw a young woman whose coat was soaked with blood, and so he rushed to administer her first aid.
“What I heard sounded like a battlefield,” Mr Paredes told The New York Times. “I could see the despair on people’s faces, wondering how something like this could happen in a city that’s supposedly safe.”
Mr Kemper said that detectives do not think that the gunman was “firing indiscriminately” into a crowd.
The scene was described as a “mass shooting” by New York congressman Ritchie Torres, who also added that the shooting was “not random”.
“This is unacceptable, and when detectives make an arrest – and I’m very confident they will – there must be swift, immediate, strong consequences,” said Mr Kemper.
It is believed that members of the two groups of teenagers, as well as bystanders, were among the victims shot in the incident.
In total, six people were shot, including one man who died, who has been identified by police as Obed Beltran-Sanchez.
35-year-old Beltran-Sanchez was rushed to St Barnabas Hospital after the shooting but succumbed to his injuries. He was shot multiple times in the chest.
The deceased victim was an immigrant from Mexico who crossed the border from Canada in search of work as a construction worker. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.
"All I want is for him to come back to me," his wife said after she learned the news of what happened to her husband, according to ABC7.
“He died almost immediately,” said Jorge Islas, Consul General of Mexico in New York. “And with that, that bullet, life on a dream, someone who was willing to do something important for his family.”
Five other victims were treated at the scene and transported to hospital, but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The surviving victims include two teenagers – a male and a female. A 14-year-old male was shot twice, once in the thigh and once in the ear. It was previously reported that this individual was 15-years-old, who was shot, but it has been confirmed by police that his age is 14.
The female, also 14, was shot in the foot, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to The Independent.
A 29-year-old woman was also shot in the face and neck, and a 28-year-old man was shot in the right arm.
The fifth injured victim was a man aged 71.
A 16-year-old male was arrested on Thursday in connection to the subway shooting. Police have said that the teenager has been charged with murder, along with five counts of attempted murder and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
He was taken into custody as he left his apartment by officers, who were waiting outside the address on West 127th Street in the Bronx.
“I am happy to report to you today that one of these individuals, cowards, were apprehended,” Ms Daughtry said in a video posted on X. “We are looking for one more coward New York. Help us continue to bring the closure to the innocent passengers, to the bystanders that were on that train.”
Chief Joseph Kenny told NBC4 on Thursday that the person in connection to the shooting, who is still at large, had run “northbound after this incident on the subway, we have him going into a building 1987 Davidson Avenue.”
The outlet also reported that the image makes him appear to be in a purple jacket, but it was actually black.
Mr Kenny said that one of the victims, a 14-year-old, “is possibly one of the other shooters” and he has since been arrested for a separate non-fatal shooting that occurred on 15 January.
He added that the incident on the subway is believed to be a retaliation to the shooting that took place in mid-January, and is “definitely a dispute between these two crews.”
As for any motivations, Mr Kenny told the outlet that preliminary information suggests that the incident stemmed from “drill rapping”.